The LMB is delighted to announce that Tanmay Bharat will be returning to the LMB as a new Group Leader in the Structural Studies Division where he will use electron tomography to investigate prokaryotic cell surfaces. Tanmay was previously a post-doctoral researcher in this division from 2013-2017 with Jan Löwe’s group.
Tanmay’s research focuses on studying cell surfaces of prokaryotes, including bacteria and archaea, at the atomic level by using electron tomography in combination with other structural and cell biology techniques. Molecules at the surface of cells modulate all interactions of the organism with its environment, so this research will help inform us about key cellular processes such as adhesion, biofilm formation and antibiotic tolerance in pathogenic bacteria.
At the LMB, Tanmay is planning to specifically focus on the role of prokaryotic cell surface molecules in biofilm formation. Biofilms – surface-attached, multicellular bacterial communities – play a key role in a range of diseases and infections, as they display increased antibiotic tolerance which hinders medical treatment. Therefore, greater understanding of how biofilms develop will aid in the development of novel strategies for therapeutic intervention. Tanmay is also excited to collaborate with other groups at the LMB to develop new methods to advance cellular structural biology.
After studying Chemistry at the University of Delhi, Tanmay read Biological Sciences at University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Tanmay completed his PhD at EMBL Heidelberg, before moving to the LMB as an EMBO/FEBS long-term fellow. Since he left the LMB in 2017, Tanmay has been a Group Leader at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford.
Recently Tanmay’s research on prokaryotic surface layers and biofilms has been recognised with a 2018 Vallee Research Scholarship, the 2019 EMBL John Kendrew Award, the 2020 Philip Leverhulme Prize for Biological Sciences, 2021 Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators, and the 2021 Lister Prize. His pioneering research has also been awarded with the 2022 Colworth Medal from the Biochemical Society.
Tanmay commented “I am delighted to join the Structural Studies Division, and I look forward to working with my new talented colleagues, whose work I admire greatly. Our research on cellular structural biology and electron tomography fits perfectly with the history and future directions of the LMB. I expect some extremely exciting years ahead.”